Wilmington, DE-Using a pair of wild pitches from Wilmington RHP Spencer Patton (3-1), the losing pitcher, in the top of the 10th inning, the Potomac Nationals (17-16, 8-8) clipped the Wilmington Blue Rocks (14-19, 8-8) on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium by the final score of 3-2 to take their third consecutive series win in front of the largest road crowd of the season (4,262). Potomac RF Caleb Ramsey scored the eventual game winning run on a ball unleashed to the backstop by Patton.
After the Nationals collected just three total base hits over 14 innings in the first two contests against the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the set, Potomac mustered just four base hits in the rubber match to produce three runs which proved enough to edge the hosting club.
RHP Brian Dupra, who did not receive a decision, dealing in a spot start after RHP Taylor Jordan (Carolina League's ERA leader) was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg earlier this afternoon, overcame a rocky first inning to put the Nationals in position to win the Game Three contest.
Dupra went 6.0 innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits with no walks and one strikeout after surrendering two runs in the 1st frame.
2B Justin Trapp blooped a single into left center field as the leadoff man before RF Jorge Bonifacio, who only made three outs in the entire series, lifted an RBI sacrifice fly to left field leading to a double belted to the center field wall by 3B Cheslor Cuthbert and an RBI single off the stick of CF Lane Adams into center to give the Blue Rocks a 2-0 lead.
Wilmington RHP Aaron Brooks, who also did not factor into the decision, was terrific in the pitcher's duel with Dupra, surrendering just two earned runs on three base hits over 7.0 stanzas, while walking no one and fanning seven.
The Nationals registered individual run tallies in the 2nd and 3rd innings via a home run off the bat of SS Jason Martinson over the right center field wall, his sixth four-bagger of the season, and an RBI groundout by LF Billy Burns, respectively, after C Cole Leonida lead off with a bloop single to center field and 1B Justin Miller followed with a double blasted to the right center field gap.
A stalemate would travel from the bottom of the 3rd inning all the way through the end of the 9th frame.
Brooks retired 15 in a row, while Nationals LHP Matt Grace tossed 2.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen before Patton extended the retirement of P-Nats batters to 23 consecutively through two outs in the top of the 10th.
Enter Ramsey, who cranked a line drive double into the right field corner off Patton. Then, during the at-bat of 2B Adrian Sanchez a wild pitch by Patton to the backstop allowed Ramsey to take third base before Sanchez swung and missed at an offering from Patton that was not corralled by C Kenny Swab that went through his legs and on to the padding allowing Ramsey to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run.
Nationals closer, RHP Derek Self (2-1), the winning pitcher of record, who has now tossed 7.1 straight scoreless innings, shut the door in the bottom of the 10th despite allowing the tying run to reach base. Self gave up a leadoff single to SS Jack Lopez batted up the middle on the ground but then retired DH Murray Watts on strikes swinging as Watts attempted to bunt the first two offerings, Swab on a popout to Sanchez at second base, and LF Alex Hudak on a called strike three to send the P-Nats on the bus with the series triumph, taking two of three games from the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Potomac will open a four-game homestand against the Winston Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox) on Friday evening as gates open at 6:00pm for a 7:05pm first pitch with the National sending A.J. Cole (1-1, 3.94) to face Winston Salem RHP Chris Bassitt (4-0, 1.95).
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming with the P-Nats Baseball Pre-Game Show at 6:50pm before the live play-by-play at 7:05pm. Broadcast coverage is accessible by heading to www.potomacnationals.com.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for the summer months as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
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